as excerpted from June 2014 Trace by Gerry “Lucky” Mesmer
As our brigade expands and we add new folks I thought I would ramble a few minutes . . . about getting new guys started. Now, I don’t mean paperwork and the process, but really the kit side, equipage, accouterments…stuff.
Many of us started off doing something else like I did, RevWar, porkyvous or maybe just hunted with a black powder rifle. Some start with clothes, tack, weapon and “stuff”. But, what about the guys you want to bring into AMM that are the right fit for the Brotherhood, but have never put on anything other than modern clothes and hunted with a poly stock, stainless rifle?
Well, we had that conversation this past weekend, Brother Kraig and I. What we discussed was the importance of imparting knowledge early on, early enough to keep a guy from buying things twice. This is not an overly expensive thing, done simply and handcrafting all you can, outside of a good rifle or smoothbore.
The first thing to emphasize, and I back track a little to the process, is making sure the clothes are all hand sewn. Actually, as painful as hand sewing may seem to some folks, if you price a pattern and material versus a hand sewn article at an event or a machine sewn one from a trader, the hand sewing becomes a little more palatable, and cheaper. Besides, what better way can you think of to break a guy away from tv, xbox, netflicks or some other such time sucker?
As we talked to our new prospect and soon to be Pilgrim it was simple: hat, shirt, trousers and mocs to get properly clothed. Steer them to a proper pattern, proper material and then let them go after it. Of course, a hat is a purchase item. But the other items they can hand sew relatively cheap.
Next, look at accoutrements. One of my hobbies within the hobby is making powder horns and shooting bags. I enjoy making them, especially tailoring them to the person and when I buy the raw goods they are pretty cheap. What’s my point? If you are crafty, consider making or helping your prospect/pilgrim make items. Nothing cooler than carrying items from your sponsor or from a man inside the brigade!
As far as a rifle, let them know to be patient as many Brothers may have a nice weapon they may part with at a decent price. My son got a nice smoothbore from Brother Blackpowder Jim. He loves having a firelock from within our Party!
Bedrolls and tarps are simple too. Might as well just have them buy the Spanish brown oil cloth from Crazy Crow and hand sew both, blam, done and done right the first time!
So Brothers, just some rambling from Lucky down here in sunny south Texas to remind us all how we can help a fella get started right, fast and affordable. In this economy we can all appreciate affordable.
See you around a fire soon Brothers!